Friday, September 18, 2015

Ireland Part 3. Sketching the Atlantic Way. Worshop in Kinvara by Róisín Curé

Fridays is market day in Kinvara. The energy was positive and it seemed like everybody knew each other. It was the perfect scenario to sketch people in motion. Stands of local vendors offered all sort of vegetables, fruit, flowers, crafts, food and coffee. There were some tables and benches in the center of the market which was perfect for us to sketch. I think it is a good idea, because it invites you to stay regardless of the weather. This time Mary, a sketcher from Manchester joined us this morning. Her husband Kelly came with her.  Here's is what I caught in my sketch: Claudia, Mary on the table and Róisín in the center. To the left of the sketch is Chris, the peas vendor standing with a hat. Chris was selling flowers and offering fresh peas to everybody who passed by. He constantly talked to people.

A5 Handbook spread, pen, ink and watercolor.

Later that day we went to The Dunguaire Castle. This time we came inside the castle. The walls of stone are 2.8 meters wide. As any castle they are dark inside. After exploring the castle, I found myself comfortable in the banquet room. A window caught my attention, it was more the contrast of light and the darkness of the room what caught my attention. It was a nice view to practice tonal values. After few minutes I found that it was difficult  to sketch since the eyes had to adapt to the constant change of light. I had to put an extra effort to constantly looking at the bright window and my sketchbook, Róisín warned me about this, she was right.  I left some spaces in blank, something that for me it is not easy to do, but I think I manage to apply what I learned in this workshop. The next sketches were finished on location, drawn and colored. Through the window you can see the hills of The Burren.

A5 Handbook, pen, ink and watercolor.

A5 Handbook, pen, ink and watercolor.

Later in the castle, we attended a banquet. A medieval show was presented during dinner. Song, poems and a little bit of laugh. I didn't sketch, I enjoyed the company, the show and the food. After the banquet show, we walked back to Kinvara and the group met at Greens, a pub. Turned out that the couple from Manchester, Mary and Kelly were two of the musicians playing at the pub that night! I hung out all day with them and I didn’t know! What a pleasant surprise! Also the same girl I sketch in the Connolly’s bar two nights ago, Laura was there as well. I don’t live here and I already knew this people as if they were my friends forever. 

A4 Moleskine, pen, ink and watercolor.

The next day we practiced color and cross referencing in the morning. We met at the Quay in Kinvara. During the making of the following sketch, Róisín shared some tools with us. She is an excellent teacher. I asked questions and she answered them with straight answers that help me to solve my struggles. The sun was behind the houses, that's why they look shady. To the right it was a cute dog waiting patiently to its owner who was working on the white and blue boat.

A4 Moleskine, pen ink and watercolor.

By noon we headed to Galway. Our next sketching spot was the Claddagh and our target was to draw the Long Walk. At this point, I started to feel fatigue, I laid down in the grass for good 15 minutes to rest, I closed my eyes and let go. I was very close to not sketch this magnificent view, but why would I cross the Atlantic Ocean to NOT sketch? I would regret it if I didn't. So I got up and started to sketch the raw of houses. Since  I was afraid that I wouldn't have time to sketch Spanish Arch, I included it in the very left. So I had to shrink my proportions in order to include this landmark. I used my small moleskine to simplify my sketch. Big mistake. Turned out I was sketching a lot of detail in a small sketchbook so I had to put extra effort. At the end it was worthy. Don't you think so?

A5 Moleskine spread, pen, inl and watercolor.

This workshop is a gem.  A selection of places carefully chosen, well planned and organized by an artist who delivers, whose  knowledge comes through and whose expertise in the area assures you will see, visit and eat only the best. If you have the opportunity to attend one of her workshops, do it. I already left there a friend for life. Visit her website at Click here to read part 4.

I, Róisín and Claudia


  1. The water in the view across Kinvara Harbour is amazing. It shimmers in the morning sun. I just love the rich colours you used in that sketch. Same with the drawing of the light through the castle window - there's a glow that is just like the real thing. Super work.

    1. Thank you Roisin. I never though of leaving the water white, my first impulse was to paint it grey/green or so. You helped me SEE what it was in front of me. The color of the water and the sky are usually the same!